Easy DIY File Folders

Hi teaching friends!  So, I have been so busy with the newest issue of The Organized Classroom Magazine and I haven’t had a chance to post too much in the way of just some fun ideas.

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

So, I decided to grab a couple of items at the craft and big box store the other day and really had a blast creating a fun idea for you today!

I know many of you are going digital for your teaching files and may not have a ton of file folders hanging out in filing cabinets, but sometimes file folders are super handy for carrying items to and from meetings, placing important student information (such as an allergy list or the like), or even a great way to organize your reading groups {see this awesome idea post from What the Teacher Wants}!

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These file folders usually need to remain close at hand, and even displayed on a tired file folder rack like this type.

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders like the ones below?

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

You can purchase patterned file folders, but they usually work out to be about $1 a piece.  That is kind of pricey. 

The best part of the DIY versions?   They are inexpensive and you can completely customize them to match your classroom theme or colors!  And they are super fast to create. 

I created 3 of the 4 folders in about 10 minutes – literally.

Here’s how to create your own DIY File Folders for your classroom:

You will need to grab some file folders in any color you choose at the store.  The primary colored pack I used were handy and available in a large package from my local Walmart for less than $5.

Also grab some washi tape (basically it is patterned masking tape), patterned duct tape, or patterned packing tape.  Or try a combination of the 3 to see which you prefer to work with on your project. 

You can find those items either in the craft department, school/packing supplies, or even in the hardware section.  My local craft store had a wider variety of the washi tape I used.

Here are the examples I made, but again, you can be as creative as you like!

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

For the green and blue folders, I simply placed the tape in a geometric pattern.  I also made sure my tape colors on the blue folder complemented each other.

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

The red folder included 2 tapes that I rotated in simple horizontal lines. 

To place the decorative ribbon, just use a regular hole punch to punch 2 holes (not too far away) along the top of the folder.  Thread a piece of ribbon through the holes inside the folder so that they come out of the front and tie it up. 

Again – you can be as creative as you like.  You could even weave a ribbon border all along the outside of the folder!

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

The last folder was a little trickier (but still only took about 15 minutes to put together). 

I started by placing a border along the top and bottom edges.  I wanted polka dots of the other tape and at first tried a regular hole punch to see how it work out. 

As you can imagine, the tape dots got stuck on the inside of my hole puncher, so that idea was quickly abandoned. 

Instead, I placed several rows of tape on a piece of cardstock, and then used a craft punch to punch it out.

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I simply then used rubber cement to glue the dots in place.  If you have more patience than I do, you could also have tried to peel the tape circles off the cardstock and place directly onto the folder. 

Or I can see even using a cutter, like a Cricut or Cameo to cut the tape circles as well.  My method worked for me, so I decided to stay with that option.

Well, if you are going to display it out in the open, who wants plain old manila colored file folders when you can have super cute folders? Easy to make!

There are so many variations of craft tape out there, so your folders are only limited by the styles and colors you can come up with. 

I was going to look for black folders and use glitter craft tape as well, but they didn’t have the folders at the store where I was and I just didn’t want to truck across town to the office supply store to grab them. 

Perhaps next time I am there I will grab them though and try it out.  I bet they would really pop!

Hope you have fun creating your folders!  They are a fun and easy weekend afternoon project that you can proudly display in your classroom on Monday!

I would love to hear your ideas and/or see your pictures too!  Feel free to share in the comments below!

~Charity
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